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It happens rarely for the programme of an organ CD to be so brilliantly conceived that one is compelled to listen to it in a single sitting. Such is the case with the present recording, in which Maurice Clement traces the influence of Wagner in late 19th-century France and Germany. The Prelude to Tristan is succeeded in the common key of A major by Franck’s Fantaisie Idyll. Franck’s pupil and assistant Samuel Rousseau is represented by his seldom-heard, impressive homage to his master, a Fantaisie which in turn quotes the Tristan Prelude. Bruckner’s Adagio from the Seventh Symphony is an extended tribute to his hero, with the programme completed by Liszt’s Funerailles and Am Grabe Richard Wagners. Clement, a former pupil of Jean Boyer, performs on the 2016 Thomas organ at Diekirch (III/59, two enclosures) which incorporates a substantial amount of historic material by Dalstein-Haerpfer. Its range of piano and ‘mezzo’ hues is quite beguiling, the Voix Humaine astoundingly beautiful. Perhaps only in the forte range do the chorus reeds and upperwork gel slightly less convincingly. Clement’s dark, sophisticated playing glowers with pathos and introspection, his transcriptions of Wagner and Bruckner organic in every sense. The disc is gloriously presented with gorgeous photography throughout. An outstanding release.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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